I’m Back! (again)
Monday April 14th 2014, 4:04 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Hello everyone (all 3 of my readers, LOL).   I have shamelessly neglected my Needlepoint Blog for way too long.   

I have also neglected my web store, NewNeedlepoint.com.   I have been in a huge push to finish my executor duties for my Dad’s estate.  it took a total of 13 months of effort, frustration and endless dealings with financial people (here after referred to as *mostly scum*).

There are some good ones out there but…..One brokerage deliberately made it as difficult as possible for me,  not wanting us to take the accounts away.  Nit-picking and using any excuse to freeze my parents accounts.  In fact, these beauties froze my parents many accounts with them within days of finding out about my father’s death.  Thus leaving his widow (my mother!) in a terrible mess.   Fortunately, my Dad was smart and all their money was not there, so she was able to bury him & live during these long months.

Anyway, I am thrilled to report that despite my neglect, NewNeedlepoint.com chugged along.  I had steady(ish) sales all year.  My customers are (mostly) amazing & kind people.  They bore with me through all this and the horrible weather here in S.E. Pennsylvania this past winter.

Thank You All.

I have around 40 new canvases & kits to list.    I have more then 50 used & rare books to put in my store.  There are only 4 new books to list.  Somehow I got caught up with those over the winter (snowed in, don’t you know).

I do have a rudimentary listing for June McKnights newest book Secrets



This picture is from June’s own web site.

At first I thought this book was a revised & updated version of her fine book, Needlepoint Wisdom, which is no longer available (in fact, I got & sold the last 2 copies June had).

I asked June about this and she said that Secrets is a whole new book, that it is the whole *enchilada* (lol).  it is all in here.

If I may, I lifted this wonderful Review from Jane Wood’s marvelous blog The Chilly Hollow Needlepoint Adventure 

(side note, funny stuff:  Jane told me the key word in her blog title is *ADVENTURE*.   I see what she means.)

Ok, go figure.  I can’t find Jane’s review.  This quote is from June McKnights web site

Everything you need to know to create a needlepoint masterpiece.

With her many decades of devotion to the needlework industry, June has learned a great deal. It seems appropriate to share this information with her world…a June McKnight “tell-all.”

LEARN – The book includes advice about choosing a wonderful canvas and how to avoid creative pitfalls. Examples:  poorly painted canvases, painterly canvases that are impossible to stitch, outlining, poorly printed canvases, European canvases–good and bad, kits, counted canvas patterns…and so much more.

REVEAL – how to avoid frustrations and expensive mistakes when selecting threads.  There is more to selection than merely matching the color painted on the canvas. Some considerations are the styles of threads (single ply, multi-ply, and ribbon styles). There are three sources of threads (animals, plants and the chemistry lab.) Even though the stores are loaded with thousands of thread choices, by taking these two items into consideration, thread selection can become a breeze and the stitching outcome can be predicted.

DISCOVER – tools and tricks of the trade that make it easier to create gorgeous canvaswork.  Some expensive products are discussed (lighting, floorstands) and home remedies…for example, using dryer sheets to wipe away needle tarnish.

UNVEIL – a gallery of stitches and graphs based on mathematical formulas which guarantee stitching success. Count the number of threads available on the painted area and you can easily determine which stitch will fit using my magical formula.”


New, but not all that new news.  I have begun writing a column for Needlepoint Now magazine.  It is about Classic Old Needlework Books, rare & otherwise.   My articles will be in every other issue of the magazine, which comes out every other month (I know, getting confusing here).  So, I will do 3 a year, although I bet my arm could be twisted to make me do one for each issue….then again, maybe not.  

While a famous quote from Mae West (One of my heroines) is

“Too much of a good thing can be wonderful”  there is also the issue of overkill.  I think maybe 3 a year, for now.

The next issue issue my column appears in is (I think) July/August and it is about the unique and amazing book, from 1982, the Needlework Doctor by Mary Kay Davis ( a well known needlepoint author and author of other books).

As far as I know, there is no other book like this in existence.   It is my go-to in a needlework emergency or disaster book.  it is also my “answer any question I could possibly have” book.  I consider it an essential reference book for every stitcher.

NP doc


I am getting ahead of myself, my article says much more about this book.

I have more Pajamas & Chocolate Colorful Animals canvases & kits.  Some replacements for ones that sold fast (Poodle, Bear).  I have Labrador & Cat Doing What?.  All I have to do is list them  (someone hit me).

I have added a few canvases from NeedleCrossings.  I have many New Laurel Burch  and more.  

Anyway, I am glad to be back.  I won’t bore you with any of my blather about what I am reading now, although I do want to mention (I can’t help it) Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, an outstanding book & The Obituary Writer by Ann Hood.  

I am OK, pretty good, in fact.  My daffodils are blooming and my Weeping Cherry tree<White Fountain>  is just beginning to bloom.   Enormous damage to my 5 Knock-Out Rose bushes but despite all, they are starting to put out leaves.  It took some heavy pruning.  My Peonies are just poking up, too.


I’m such a tease
Thursday January 09th 2014, 11:09 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I am having a blast posting previews of the new Pajamas & Chocolate canvases that are being introduced by Pajamas & Chocolate at the TNNA show which starts Saturday.

Patt has authorized this so I am no sneak, just a tease.

I did want me to remind everyone that the whole new 2014 P & C line is up on the Pajamas & Chocolate web site


You can get there by clicking my text link or the highlighted words.  I always love an either or.

I will be adding to the canvas I have up for preorder tomorrow (ok, you know me, or Saturday).  I will be ordering the ones I love the most (hard decision, that) and taking pre-orders for the ones I plan to list on NewNeedlepoint.com.

I will also be glad to pre-order any you might want in particular (and do any special orders when the line is finally available to sell).

All these canvases are available as 18 mesh or as 13 mesh.  The 13 mesh are a little larger & cost a little more.  Some come with Stitch Guides.  I know the Koalas do, I am not sure which others do or will, yet.

What else?   I know…stop blabbing and show some.



This is Koalas.  The frame is made by Patt’s husband Lee and will be available to order later on.

Patt has a great new Series, Witches Through Time.    I am planning to order some.  I know I want this one.  The style of dress is Regency.  Should I call it Witchy Jane (for Jane Austen) or Lady Catherine DeBurgh?



Patt has named this next Witch Marie Antionette.  They are designed to stand upright, Patt has this figured out, as her how.antonette

There is the Horse Hat Derby Series.  I am not sure which others yet but I know I want this one




More of the Colorful Wildlife:   Elephants.  I think the frame will be available but don’t quote me on that.



Kangaroos, of course





More Colorful Animals

I have picked 3 for sure,  but I want them all.   I already have the Labrador on order ( backorder….)




Hungry Cat  (a look I know well)



I am still deciding.   As I said, go to


to see them all.

Well,  That’s enough for tonight,  The ones above are the ones I will have for pre-order in my web store (new needlepoint.com, like you forgot)

But I can order any you want.   This part is easier than getting them up & listed for order.

And did I mention it is Tax Season (shudder) again.  Last year I had 5 returns to get ready.  This year I have 6 and #6 is The Biggie, my folks one.

I miss my Dad so much, yesterday would have been in 90th birthday (my dad & Elvis, same birthday).  He made sure I could do all this and so I can but still……..

preview, not very sneak but still…
Monday January 06th 2014, 11:22 am
Filed under: Needlepoint & Me

I got all kinds of semi-important and completely unimportant things to say in this blog but first I want to do this.

Pajamas & Chocolate has been very successful with their Colorful Animals Series of hand painted Needlepoint Canvases.  At the TNNA show starting this weekend (1/11) in San Diego (where it’s warm) they are introducing a new line, Colorful Wildlife.  Below is Koalas



There is a Stitch Guide available, done by Patt who is, as most of you already know, a terrific and creative stitcher



The Frame is made by Patt’s excellent husband Lee.   It is possible (not 100% sure but probably) that the frame can be ordered.

These will be available to order next Sunday 1/12 at NewNeedlepoint.com  in the Pajamas & Chocolate Category.


OK, back to my regular blog.

Speaking of Pajamas & Chocolate, I just listed (last night) the Pekingese from the Colorful Animal Series


A handsome dog, this design uses 17 colors.  The Pekingese is available as the Canvas Alone or as a Kit.



I have added some New Laurel Burch.  The store has been selling a lot of the LB designs lately.

Below is the Turquoise & Purple Butterfly




And this show-stopper, The Dog Sampler




Both available as both Canvas Alone or as a Kit.

Laurel Burch Studios has a lot of new Designs being introduced at the TNNA (a lot happens there, that’s always the case when I am not somewhere, if I was there nothing would happen)

Of course, Ms Burch has passed away but her studio is doing an exceptional job of keeping her designs & sensibilities, her amazing use of colors  current and very good.   I  have a steady stream of customers for her work so I keep my stock up to date.   I have 8 (maybe 10, I forget) new designs on order, expected any day now

Including Swan Goddess with a Stitch Guide available



And   Birds


New Years Eve was quiet, as befitting my advanced age and decrepitude.   I just finished another amazing book, Ghost Song by Sarah Rayne.  She does psychological thrillers & intelligent creepiness very well.  Of course, the successor to Shirley Jackson (as if there could be one) is Susan Hill.  She is well known for the Chief Superintendent Simon Serrallier mystery series and for The Woman in Black but I urge you to read The Man In The Picture.   The Woman in Black has been made into a movie twice.  Do not bother with the recent one, , it is only OK.    The 1993 version is the one you want.

Needless to say I have read the newest Stephanie Plum, Takedown Twenty.  I am such a fan of this series that I can’t honestly tell you if this one is any good or not.  I just read & enjoy.

That’s about it.  Winter is here.  D. tells me that the Farmer’s Almanac has predicted a very hard winter for South East Pennsylvania and they were right.  Yes, I am seeing a man who reads the Old Farmer’s Almanac and lives in a 18th century Log House, go figure.

Happy New Year to my 3, maybe 4 readers.  I wish you the best & better in this New Year

bad mac
Friday December 13th 2013, 4:53 pm
Filed under: rants (with some books or NP)

I am sitting here in the Mac store, at the genius bar.  So far, I have not seen any acts of genius.  The hardware on my Big Mac checked out fine,  so  it is not the hard drive.  That is good news and it is bad news.

Swapping out a hard drive is no biggie, diagnosing a software problem is not so esay.

Let’s delve deeper into this mess.

A few weeks ago I side swiped a parked car in the parking lot of the market  ( I use a small local market, a satellite of the bigger local 2 store chain: the store made take-out is absolutely delicious and since, as many of you know, I am a lousy cook, no more needs to be said).

Anyway, this old (which means older then me) lady in her ubiquitous  Buick could not get into a parking space.  She kept gesturing and honking at me to move over.  I did & I did & I did.  Then I got mad.

I jerked the wheel and scarped the whole passenger side of my car  (my beautiful red car) down the back bumper of a old Altima.  Ouch!

So, I have insurance and I had not had an accident in so long that my policies Accident Forgeivness dropped my co-pay to $200 dollars (from $500).

SO…..(moving on)..I took my car in to be fixed and decided not to rent a car.  They forecasted  snow & such garbage all week anyway….but then…..

My Big Mac, which had been occasionally mis-behaving turned into a vindictive bitch.  So,  No car and no D to help me take it in for service until tomorrow (Saturday) when another Big storm is predicted.

I called Dana, the nice guy who who drives a cab for Yellow Cab and had him pick me up at 3pm.  I made an appointment with the genius bar for 3:30p today and off I went.

Did you know you can’t call an Apple store directly?  You have to go through a huge maze of voice mail and repeated demands that I make an appointment on line.

Ok, I finally got through to the store and they said they would help me carry Behemoth Mac into the store.    But, you had to get through the phone garbage first….to tell them that you are outside.

Ok,  so here I am in the very crowded pre-holiday Mac Store and my Mac is behaving like a darling.  Nothing is wrong, everything is working fine.

The cute genius guy, John, who is taking care of 5 of us at once, wants me to replicate the boot up failure and auto-re-start stuff or at least the rolling ball delays or anything.

BUT NO, she is behaving herself.  Everything perfect.  So, I am sitting here doing a blog.  This one definitely qualifies as a rant.

I have new Pajamas & Chocolate Canvases & Kits.   I just listed the Shi Tzu, a very popular design.  I had two before but both sold before I could even list them.   I used the pictures I took for the listings I never did but then (go figure) I ended up changing the colors a lot…so the colors on the listing are not exactly right (the new ones are must better)




I have several of the handsome Labrador Canvas on order.  One is already spoken for



I have (in stock, look for the listings for both tonight or tomorrow…or in Real Time probably Sunday)  The adorable Lap Dog canvas



and this cheeky cat “caught in the act”  (they have no shame and why should they?).   I love this design.



All of these are available as both Kits or Canvas Alone.

Yes, I am still here.   I am used to working in lovely silence.  It is very noisy & busy here.  A real change for me.  I am hardly ever exposed to real life, such as it is.

Ok, the computer is behaving perfectly.  Had it been like this the last 2 weeks I would not be here.  I would be home doing the ironing while watching a movie , with a nice fire in the fireplace.

Alfie, unlike Jack T. Cat, does not love, desire & crave the fire.  He sits a distance away and watches it.  Jack used to all but crawl into it.

This is Alfie impeding my work (not to mention Facebook and on-line shopping)



I might be here for the rest of my life, at this rateM

Caught Up??!!??
Sunday December 08th 2013, 9:25 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I am almost afraid to say it.  I am approaching Caught Up for some of my listings for NewNeedlepoint.com

Also achieved a world’s record for how fast I got a link to my web store in my blog post…I am hot!

I have all the New Books posted and ready for sale.  If I post it in my store (unless I actually say otherwise) I have it in stock for immediate shipping .  NewNeedlepoint.com is NOT a drop ship store  (to clearly illustrate how I feel about drop ship sites, I typed it with a T on the end instead of a P).

I am adding a few more kits & canvases next week.  I am nowhere near done with rare/used books.  Look for many replacement copies and a lot of new ones early in the new year.

Yes, this is a blatant suggestion, a Needlepoint book would make a great gift for any stitcher you know.

My immediate suggestions are:

Stitching with Silk Ribbon has captured many needle pointers interest.  Either of these 2 books would “do the trick”.






Or RIBBON EMBROIDERY & STUMPWORK by Master Teacher Di van Niekirk.  The stump work part of the book might be of interest as well, it is raised stitching for a three dimensional effect.




If Momograms and lettering is of interest, this is the Cadillac of books on the subject.   I know I love to *sign* my stitching my my initials .    LETTERS & MONOGRAMS FROM THE HOUSE OF MALBRANCHE




Maybe your favorite stitcher (or you) are interested in Blackwork (I know I am).  This book is from the famous series of Royal School or Needlework Books

RSN Essential Stitch Guides BLACKWORK by Becky Hogg




From the same Series I have a good book on Whitework.   RSN Essential Stitch Guide WHITEWORK by Lizzy Lansberry


As well as Goldwork.   RSN Essential Stitch Guide GOLDWORK by Helen McCook




Or  if Goldwork interests you (me too!)  There is GOLDWORK Technique, Projects and Pure Inspiration by Hazel Everett




Speaking if inspiration.  This is a gorgeous book, recently re-issued as a new book, it had been popular as a used/rare book.

TAPISSERIE by Hayat Palumbo




or for a small present or stocking stuffer,  THE ULTIMATE 3-IN-1 COLOR TOOL by Joen Wolfrom





Then there are my Canvases & Kits.  Since it is Christmas, I will highlight just Kits but every Kit you see where is also available as a Canvas Alone.

From Pajamas & Chocolate I have THE BEAR, a hand painted original design.




This great design from Laurel Burch combines Flowers & Animals.   Handpainted & a Original design, as well.   LAUREL BURCH GREEN DOG




Or for your favorite Beginner, this is a Handpainted RASPBERRY TULIP by Jane Wheeler.    This only comes as a kit and includes (for free) the Beginner’s booklet I wrote Needlepoint Stuff No One Told Me When I Knew Nothing.

I plan/hope/wish to turn my booklet into a short book or longer booklet someday.  I am told it is helpful.




I have Needlepoint Ornament or Medallion kits in my SPORTS CATEGORY








(guess where I am from?)

as well as:

Home Field & Team Needlepoint Canvases Alone or Kits for








These are all in my SPORTS CATEGORY



All is OK with me.  Had a terrific Thanksgiving in Boston with my Son & his lovely wife, Polly.

Alfie gets bigger by the day, he is 6 months now.  Here he is stalking his favorite toy (the plastic tab that hold the top of a jug of spring water closed)



And, of course I am reading.  Most recently Longbourne by Jo Baker.  Pride & Prejudice from a whole new perspective ( I think I already mentioned that) and today I finished Floating Staircase by Ronald Malfi.  I don’t want to say more except that I am looking for more books by him.

I also read The Sum Of All Kisses by Julia Quinn.  I adored the Bridgerton Family series and just about everything else she writes.  She is doing books about the Smith-Smyth family now (music anyone?)

letters & numbers, part 2
Wednesday November 27th 2013, 3:44 pm
Filed under: Mostly Books

I am  in Boston for the next few days.  I am having Thanksgiving with my son & his marvelous wife.  I am thrilled to be here staying in the Liberty Hotel (which used to be the historic, dangerous & very violent Charles Street Jail).  It is a fascinating renovation with some of the features of the old jail left as decor.

My room is luxurious (I love hotels & adore room service breakfast).  The hotel is right across the road (big road) from the restaurant my son runs, the also historic Harvard Gardens.   Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I wish all of you who read this the best, a wonderful Thanksgiving.

I have been on the net for a bunch of years now. I started early on, when you still paid AOL by the 2 minute chunk and the other portal was Compuserve, also by the minutes used.

Still, it can surprise me.  I had an email from a reader of my blog (one of the 2 or 3 who actually read it) telling me about books that did indeed have Numbers as well as Letters to stitch.  It was an old book, no longer in print.

Her name is Julie Clark and she told me it was OK to use her name here in my blog.  She told me about 2 old/rare books that I had never heard about.  One was by Marion Broome Pakula.  I often have her fine book, Needlepoint Plaids in stock (But do not right now, I wll again when I can find a decent copy).  The book Julie mentioned is New Ideas For Needlepointers.  I have a copy on order.  I am looking forward to seeing it.

The other book she mentioned  was 101 Alphabets by Dale Burdett.  I was unable to find even a mention of it anywhere. (now, that is a rare book).

The interesting thing here is that there are several old needlepoint books on alphabets & monograms that include numbers.  I am always gobsmacked (I love that word) by the contents and instruction in these old, often rare books.

The books I know best are the ones I carry on NewNeedlepoint.com.  Below is a list.  BTW, while I am away from home the mose I use with my tiny little travel laptop is broken so I am doing the links to the books a different and much easier on a touch mouse way

97 Needlepoint Alphabets by B. Bossuck.  B. Bossuck is the author of several excellent needlepoint books.  I wish they were still in print.




There are a few others that I do not currently have in stock.  I have a huge pile of rare books, mostly replacements for books sold with some new ones mixed in waiting for me to list or re-list them.  They include

Letters and Numbers for Needlepoint by E. M. Parker (Eleanor).   This book has always been a fast sale,  Every time I have it in stock, someone snaps it up.  It has become quite rare over the years I have been buying it for re-sale.



As Far as I can remember (which is not far) these are the only books which show numbers to stitch as well as letters but I do have the pile at home waiting for me including the book Julie Clark told me about.



I once (and once only) found copies of this incredible book, new or almost new, for half the cover price.  I bought 2, not being familiar with the book and they sold quickly.  Now that I know this book, I wish I had bought all the copies they had.  Of course, when I tried to find them again all I could find was the book at it’s stated cover price and at that, once 1 source had them.

I agonized over this some ten finally ordered 2.  The history here is interesting.  Some (or maybe all) of the below is lifted from my web store listing for this book

“Letters & Monograms from the House of Malbranche is an extraordinary and very rare book, despite it’s being a new book. This title is carried by only one publisher and is not always available.

I don’t know what else to say, if you have any interest in monograms or stitched Letters, this is the book. There is nothing else like it, new or used.

From the back cover
” The house of Malbranche is the last French Institution which dedicates itself to the Embroidery of Household Linen. It’s tradition is exceptional. Created in the middle of the 19th century, it contributed to the reputation of the luxury French craft industry by the design and production of embroidered household linens.”

” Intended for the wealthy and for royalty, the Letters and Monograms became classics, well known to the experts. The heiresses of this tradition wanted to pass on, through this book, gthe principle Alphabets and Motifs of the house with technical advice.”

Wow, I did not know any of this before. This is a spectacular book. The Letters & Monograms shown, described and in template here are wonderful.

Some of them are familiar, classic designs whose source I had not known before.

These are perfect for embroidery, they could be easily adapted to needlepoint of you could embroidery them on top of the stitched needlepoint to great effect.”



OK, enough business.  Both my son & his wife only had the actual day of Thanksgiving off and while we saw each other every evening, I had the days to myself here in Boston.

Now, this is not complaining.  I am in a wonderful hotel and can run (it is cold out) across the streets  (plural, there are 3 major roads all coming together here) and annoy my son in his restaurant any time I like but….

Yesterday, I wanted them to have some time together, with such different schedules it can be rare so I suggested they spend the day  with each other and  pick me up for Thanksgiving dinner.

It was cold but very sunny, a really lovely winter day.  I bundled up and walked down Charles Street  which was one of the main hangouts and gathering spots of my early hippie years  (the 60′s,  they say if you remember much you weren’t really there….but I remember some)

It is completely different, The only familiar stores are Gary Drug & the liquor store at the foot of Mt. Vernon Street.   Beacon Hill really is a big hill.

Then I crossed to the Public Gardens.  Of course no swans or swan boats now but it was filled with people.  Dog walkers, families and families with little ones.  I gather it is a big deal to see and sit on the Mother Duck & her Ducklings statues.  They were put there in tribute to Robert McCloskey’s 1941 book, Make Way For Ducklings.  Clearly, it was and still is a popular books.  The little ones seem to love seeing them and sitting on the ducklings which all have red scarves around their necks for the cold winter.


I walked around the lagoon and went up on the bridge.  Then I sat on a bench right next to the lagoon and *contemplated my misspent youth*  (LOL)

A man with what I assumed was his grandson came along and sat across from me.  The little boy was out of the stroller, all he wanted to do was touch the ducks (they were everywhere, the swans are housed somewhere for the winter).

While they were by the lagoon the wind took the empty stroller and pushed it into the shallow water.  I held the boy (18 months) while his grandad “saved the stroller” .  It was very funny.

They went on their way and I finished my walk around the Gardens.  I was surprised and pleased to see that the famous statue of George Washington on his horse at the entrance go the Public Gardens was wearing a Red Sox shirt.  It was on him like a cape and looked great.

My son later told me the city put it there right before the 1st Series game & it is still there

George Washington Statue wearing a Red Sox shirt in honor of the World Series Victory

I miss Boston,  it really is still my home.  I take the train back to Lancaster tomorrow morning.

Cat & Numbers
Sunday November 10th 2013, 1:43 am
Filed under: rants (with some books or NP)

As I have mentioned before (I know, I am boring on this subject) I was rescued by an abandoned cat not too long ago.  He does not seem to belong to anyone.  D. thinks he was part of a litter of barn cats from the huge old barn down the road from him (way rural York County, PA)

We never did find any of his siblings.  If they survived, they are feral now but D. still looks occasionally.

Alfie is going to be a big boy, he is 5 months old now.  This picture was taken at midnight tonight (Saturday/Sunday) as I was/am trying  to write my blog.  This  is pretty usual these days.



I have been adding new books to NewNeedlepoint.com.  In fact, I am just 2 books from being completely caught up with the new books.

This is a fact, only once in the close to 5 years that I have run NewNeedlepoint.com have I ever been completely caught up.   It lasted a few days.

I have been adding to my Letters & Monograms category.  I find these books fascinating and something most stitchers don’t think about adding to their work, unless it is discreet initials & a date.

I think there are some real possibilities here, not just for Sayings & Slogans & Signatures.  I think adding some letters (or numbers) can be a great design element.

Anyway, I had 2 odd revelations while buying & listed these New Alphabet & Monogram books.  None of the new Alphabet or Monogram books had Numbers.  Not one.  I researched this hard.  I checked every book I have, in this category.  When I was stymied I turned to the experts (of course) .

I called Perrin at Lacis Books out in California.  They specialize in needlework books etc and wholesale many of the Monogram & Alphabet books I sell.

When I asked Perrin if any of these books contained numbers, he was surprised by the question.  He did not know.  He said he would ask the boss, Jules.  He said Jules knew everything about all the books.

These are smart book guys so I waited patiently.  Many hours later I got a call from Perrin.  He told me he was amazed to discover that I was right.  None of the books contained numbers as well as letters.

Well!  I thought that was bizarre (and it is).

This fit in with another surprising discovery I made this week,  about the Machine Embroidery Books I carry.  There are just 2 of them.  I was fired up by the idea that you could machine embroider your signature or saying on top of the stitched needlepoint, using a regular sewing machine  (in fact, most of the machine embroidery is done with a regular home sewing machine).

I added 2 basic instruction books to my Alphabets & Monograms category



The Machine Embroiderer’s Workbook by Val Holmes is one of them

The other is Machine Embroidery Made Simple by Moyra McNeill.  They are more or less similar books.  They are also similar in another way.  Neither of them contains Letters.  Forget numbers, there is not a single Alphabet between them.  I would have though that script & monograms would be an obvious thing for machine embroidery.

I spent hours last night researching this kind of book.  It was almost impossible to say for sure if a Machine Embroidery book had an Alphabet included, none mentioned it.  Not one of the many books I find had anyone mention letters or numbers in their reviews.

I read so many reviews my head was spinning.

But back to my main rant.  None of these new glossy, interesting instructional needlework books on Alphabets, Letters, Monograms had Numbers.  NONE, Zero.   I was really shocked.  How was this possible?

The only book I have any hope for is Barbara Muller’s Kreuztich Alphabete.  It is in German but as one reviewer said, there is hardly any text in the book to begin with, so why should that matter?   I am going to order a few copies of this book.


Barbara Muller is the author of one of the Very Best of the Bargello Needlepoint books I have ever seen.  It has recently been re-issued as a new book.  I have both New & Used copies of this fine book  Below is the link and a picture of a new copy of Florentine Embroidery by Barbara Muller.




This is link for the Used copies of Florentine Embroidery.  This re-issue means they are no longer a rare book.

I find this very strange, such an obvious oversight.  Isn’t anyone out there paying attention?

Want to see the one book I did find about  Embroidering Numbers?



Cute, isn’t it?

Well,  If I knew how to Machine Embroider I would write a letters & numbers book,  Someone should.

I did find some of what I was looking for in my Used /Rare books.  I will rant about that in my next blog  (sooner than my usual slow blogging, I hope)

What else?  The executor and trustee work on my dad’s estate continues to be the *beast that ate me*.  The forms, the regulations, the nitpicking by lawyers & brokers is driving me nuts.  Forms, forms, forms.

I did get my brand new, from scratch garden all planted & ready for next spring.  I even have the Tuteur trellises all set up with Clematis planted around them.   D. did quite a bit of the work with me.  He was tireless & uncomplaining (2 very good attributes in a man).

My good friend’s husband also helped me.  He has a Landscaping Business and while the HOA here at my townhouse does the day by day landscape maintenance, Craig helps me with the big stuff.  He & I re-planted all the beds around my house the fall after I bought it.

The beds around the house are sparse, with a very Japanese Garden aesthetic. The new half-moon garden along my patio in back is going to be English Gardeny  (I know Gardeny is not a word, it should be).

I have both red & pink roses in there and the main themes are Rudebeckia and assorted coneflowers, daisies & marguerites plus daylillies.  I have both the larger one (or at most 2 ) bloomers and the smaller repeat bloomers (Stella D’Oro).  There is some other stuff in there, too.  Ground covers and various other perennials.  I did a stand of Irises around the fake rock which  covers my main drain outlet.  I will add some annuals next spring to fill in the holes.  I also moved my Magnolia tree from in front of a window, where I had kept it shrub size.  it is anchoring the left side of the new garden.  Now I can let it go.

I know this is all useless talk without pictures but a picture of the garden now would show you nothing.  I promise to bury you in pictures next spring.

I try to read the books I download to my iPad in the order I DL them  (no reason, just more proof of my deep OCD…yes, I am ironing my sheets later tonight)

But I broke my rule and read Longbourne by Jo Baker.  It is Pride & Prejudice and it is not.  Very different take, from the point of view of the servants.  The book also gave me a close look at the lives and the complex emotions of people who spend their lives *do-ing* for others, waiting on them.

It too, like P & P, is a love story.  Many forms of love.  I enjoyed it, I do recommend it.

That’s about it.  I go to my son’s for Thanksgiving, in Boston.  As a chef he has just the one day off.  We are going to a fine local restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner.  I see no reason why he should cook.  Both he & his wife work the day before and he works the day after.  I hope his wife & I can go have some fun on Friday (Black Friday!).

Maybe go to a museum?   LOL.  I am looking forward to it.  Alfie is too young and new here to be left alone that long (4 days) with just a pet sitter once a day (no matter how loving a pet sitter it is, and she is).  He is going to the very posh Pat Resort (it’s real name) at my vets.   They have other, lesser, accommodations but Alfie will have his all private Cat Condo.

This is the actual place, looks pretty nice.


It has glass walls and is 4 stories high.  One wall is a picture window to the yard, where all sorts of things go on, like walking the dogs.  He has his own cat box on the bottom floor.  his own bowls & food (which I bring).  A 4 poster cat bed (not kidding) and the wall opposite of the window has a big screen TV constantly playing *Bird TV*.

It is nicer then some of the hotels I stayed in, in my misguided youth  (I had some fun).

I am categorizing this blog post as a rant and so it is.

Stitch Books Extravaganza
Sunday October 27th 2013, 5:53 pm
Filed under: Mostly Books

This is going to be a LONG blog post. Don’t be overwhelmed or put-off, it is mostly pictures & links.  You will have to endure very little of my blather (unless I tangent off which is always a danger).

I just had an order for my last in stock copy of Katharine Ireys wonderful stitch book The Encyclopedia of  Canvas Embroidery Stitch Patterns.  Canvas Embroidery is, of course, just another way of saying needlepoint, not much in use any more here in the USA, still much used in the UK, etc.

Published in the UK in 1968 and re-issued in 1972.  This book keeps getting harder to replace.



Then there are so many New Stitch Books, on so many subjects and variations of stitch.

This list, below is not in any sort of organized, by date or published order.  It is loosely in what I think or think I remember are the oldest books first but I am doing doing this list from the books themselves (that would be a lot of work, pulling them all out, putting them in order and posting them here, then putting them all back).  These are all books currently in publication.

So…..I think the oldest *new book* is this very challenging Stitch BookFrom Batsford Publishing in the UK, Mary Rhodes Dictionary of Canvas Work Stitches.  There are stitches in here that I have never seen anywhere else plus I am, in general, a fan of Mary Rhodes books.



Next has to be Father B’s 21st Century Book of Stitches.  Father B was one of the early members of the American Needlepoint Guild (ANG) and a long time contributor to the Stitch of the Month.  This book, begun in 1982, was updated every few years until this last edition.  Father Robert Blackburn is no longer with us, there will be no more editions of this important book



Where would any of us stitchers be without Jo Ippolito Christensen’s book The Needlepoint Book?



There are quite a few SuZy Murphy stitch books.  They have all been popular & much used books.  She has somehow managed to  *compress* all of them into these 2 recent books.

SuZy’s Portable Stitches




and SuZy’s Portable Stitches 2




Then we come to a lot of recent books.   In random order.

Ann Strite-Kurz A Potpourri of Pattern



And the sequel A Potpourri Of Pattern Encore



Very well known Needlepoint Stitch Book authors Beth Robertson & Suzanne Howren have a perfect, portable and comprehensive stitch book The Original Stitches To Go



Amy Bunger has a number of very good instructional DVDs out there but this one best fits the just Stitch books category I am doing here.  From her How Do You Do That series, A Closet Full Of Stitches



Susan Higgenson’s excellent book Needlepoint Stitches has always been a gold seller here.  Until recently I was selling used copies of this book.  It has been re-issued with a new cover but the same book inside



The Complete Illustrated Stitch Encyclopedia is all that and a bag of chips (sorry, I couldn’t resist)



June mcKnight is a famous Needlepoint Book author and for good reason.  Her books are always comprehensive, easy to use and cover so many different aspects of Needlepoint.  I carry all of June’s books on NewNeedlepoint.com but these 5 popped up when I thought of just stitch books.

Spooky Stitches  (good timing or what?)



Architectural Stitches for Needlepoint, a useful and well organized book



The always popular Colorful Stitches for Over-Dye Threads.



Holiday Stitches for Needlepoint (and this is the season)



and of course Christmas Stitches for Needlepoint  (Christmas gets closer every day)



I was unsure if I should include Sandra Arthur’s The Shapes of Needlepoint books Series 1, 2, 3 & 4.  They are, strictly speaking, not stitch books but……

So, I will include the picture of the most recent, Series 4 and the link to the category wh find all 4 of them, I have them all in stock



The 2 recent books from Stacey Tombros & Elaine Oliverio have been Hit Books.  Who would have thought, Needlepoint Best Sellers?  I love it.   I have both in stock and recommend them as gifts.

Stitch Landscape



The most recent, Stitch Ins & Outs




Wow,  this has been a heroic undertaking (I know, hardly that but I get to say it anyway).  What else?

D. & I have finished installing the new garden.  it will be very fine come spring.  The only thing left is to put together  the tuteur for the clematis.  Since I am more mechanical than D. is, I get to do it.  It came in a flat box in about 100 pieces.

I am reading too, of course but I am tired & hungry so this is it for tonight.  I hope you find my list useful or at least interesting.

difficult to type
Tuesday October 22nd 2013, 10:59 pm
Filed under: Mostly Books,Needlepoint & Me

First of all,  I want to show you why it has been difficult to type and keep up with my store blog (this is THE best excuse for it I have ever had).

ALFIE (aka Alfalfa, if you are old enough to remember the Little Rascals/Our Gang from early TV)



This is him in a (very) rare moment of repose.   This is am amazing story.

If you have been reading my blog for awhile you know that last summer my beloved Abyssinian cat Jack T. Cat disappeared from my yard.   He was a gorgeous “show-quality” Aby, He ended up living with me after my son’s divorce.  We had been together for 6 years.  He was smart and had me well trained.

In fact.  he was so smart that the consensus is that he was stolen and taken somewhere else.  If someone around here had taken him in, he would have found his way home by now and if……well…. Jack had a microchip.  There were no inquiries to the chip monitor people.  I was truly broken hearted ( I know, old ladies & their cats).

I had not yet started to look for another cat but I was thinking of it.  I was over at my friend D’s house when his huge, old irascible fixed tom cat, Fido, set up a huge screech & yowl.  We ran outside (D lives way out in the country) and found Fido had cornered a skinny scared kitten.

D says my eyes got big and my mouth dropped open.  I grabbed the poor kitten and brought him inside. I fed him (he ate non-stop, all the food I gave him and started on Fido’s food).  I did not want him to get sick to I took the rest away from him.

The kitten spent the rest of the day on my lap and slept as close to me as he could.   Fido was mad as hell so I took the new kitten home the next day.  I did not have a cat carrier with me and D did not have one (imagine trying to get Fido in a carrier, you would be shredded).

I got in my car with the kitten and he headed right for my feet & the petals.  Not good.  D found an old funky antique birdcage and the kitten happily rode home in it.

Well, he has seen the vet, there is nothing serious wrong with him,  just abandoned cat stuff (fleas, mites etc).  he has no microchip so I can keep him.

Alfie is lively, friendly, and PLAYFUL.  Anytime I sit here on my desk it is playtime.  He is relentless.  I have had to wrap the cord between my keyboard & the mac with electrical tape. He almost chewed through it (yes,  old fashioned.  I have the cordless keyboard, love my old keyboard much better).

Anyway,  Alfie was (we think) one of a number of sibling kittens who were brought out to the country  and dumped.  For days after D saw other similar kittens flash by and heard a little meow of 2 but so far, we have not found any of Alfie’s siblings.  I wish we could.  He would love a playmate.

What kind of person would do that to 4 month old kittens, drop them off in the middle of nowhere to fend for themselves or die?

Anyway,  That and the ongoing executor work gobble up (a Thanksgiving reference) much of my time.

And D?  Yes, I have what I like to call a Gentleman Caller.  I met him (not kidding) on the on-line dating site Our Time, for older people.  Somehow in that very sad stew of lonely people , who are mostly not telling the truth about themselves, we found each other.

He is 5 years older then me, partially retired.  A major history buff bordering on expert.  He lives in an 1700s Log House (not a cabin, there is a difference or so I am told).  He loves history and knows so much about this area.  His family has been in PA since before the Revolution.

I know almost nothing about  Southeastern PA, he is showing me everything.  We have a nice time together.  We often like the same movies.  Don’t have to take turns  (each one he likes then one I like, sound familiar?)

It feels strange, at my age, to call him my boyfriend.  Significant Other is just wrong.  Being that he is a historian, I like the designation Gentleman Caller.   We both knew we were right for each other very soon after meeting…(after many emails & phone conversations).

So, Needlepoint  (remember that?).  I am gearing up for the holidays.  I am caught up with listing new books (only 6 very recent ones left).

I have expanded my categories to make the exact books you want easier to find.  In books now, as well as my original categories I  also have

New Alphabet & Monogram Books

New June McKnight Books

New Ribbon & Stumpwork Books

New Royal School (of Needlework) Books

New BeadWork Books

Most of these books had always been here but all crowded together in the more general categories.  They are in both now, the specific & the general.  I think they are easier to find.

A few standout New Books are  Roses in Silk and Organza Ribbon by Di van Nierkirk



From the Royal School of Needlework Series is RSN Canvaswork by Rachel Doyle



In fact, this whole RSN category has some amazing Books

RSN Silk Shading

RSN Whitework

RSN Goldwork

RSN Stumpwork

RSN Blackwork

And the Big & Complete Royal School of Needlework Embroidery Techniques.  Almost everything in this book is applicable to Needlepoint.

Speaking of,  I have several New Goldwork books, full of ideas and techniques for adding sparkle & shine and a number of Stumwork Books.  Stumpwork is a wonderful way to add 3 dimensional interest to your stitching.

In fact, now that I think of it, I think I will add a Goldwork & Glitter Book category tonight.  (see, even at my age I can *think on my feet*).

I have new Canvases & Kits being entered daily (HA!  did you fall for that one?).  Ok, weekly?   Today I added 2 of 4 new Pajamas & Chocolate’s wonderful Colorful Animals I have.

Sitting Cat, With His Back To You (Looking Over His Shoulder) as a kit or the canvas alone

P&Ccatbackand The Bear, a slightly larger then usual Pajamas & Chocolate canvas in 13 mesh.  He is perfect for a pillow.   I have have just the canvas listed so far.   I found that I had pulled threads for the kit as if he was 18 mesh, not 13 (DOH) so I have to re-do the threads picture .



I am, as always reading, I just finished a wonderful book, The Bookman’s Tale: A Novel of Obsession by Charlie Lovett.  Outstanding.

To finish with a smile.  This is a picture of my nephew & his year & a half (or a little more) toddler daughter (my great-niece) at a Halloween event for little ones.  He is THE best father ever (and she is not tiny, he is very tall)



I love it

Tuesday September 10th 2013, 11:40 pm
Filed under: Mostly Books

I am tooting my own horn (who else would do it for me).  I am 2 books away from being caught up with listing all the New Books that have been sitting here giving me dirty looks.  some of them for months now.

Now, if I was an organized and efficient person, this would have been done months ago.  But I do have my excuses and reasons, pitiful though they may be.

Still before I toot  too much (toot  too? sorry all, I lost control there) I still have Rare Books and Kits & Canvases to catch up on.  I have some excellent Pajamas & Chocolate Colorful Animals to list.  I have  2 amazing Laurel Burch, her Mermaid and a Dog Collage, great stuff.

Also a whole bunch of new Ornament designs from Melinda McAra ( I know, the holidays are fast approaching, but this is better then my usual get them listed in January).

OK, a quick overview.  I have 3 new books of Silk Ribbon Stitchery in the Ribbonwork & Stumpwork category

I have an gorgeous book of Silk Ribbon Flowers, the flowers are showstoppers but you need a certain amount of stitching experience to use this book: The A-Z of Silk Ribbon Flowers by Ann Cox



Another similar but different book is The Simple Art of Ribbon Design by Deborrah Henry

This book is for beginners or anyone who wants to learn to stitch these pretty flowers.  In addition, the books gives you projects to use your flowers on including corsages, bouquets, hats, wreaths, ornaments & table top decoration (and more)



Speaking of pairs, I have 2 new books on GoldWork as well.  In addition to the RSN Essential Stitch Guides Series from the Royal School of Needlework work Goldwork, listed a few weeks ago

I now have 2 more.  Goldwork by Hazel Everett is subtitled: Techniques, Projects and Pure Inspiration.  A handsome book and perhaps a wonderful gift.



Also the-A-Z of Goldwork from the excellent Country Bumpkin Press series.  Same clear instruction as all the books in this series



A few other new books worth mentioning.

Embroidered Portariats by Jan Messant.  amazing ideas and techniques for adding faces to your needlework,  Most ideas adaptable to Needlepoint.



Folk Art Needlepoint by Ruth Peltason is never before available designs from the American Folk Art Museum, with some background & history of each.  Again, not a book for beginners but an incredible gift for a stitcher.



And Finally, but hardly least is Sandra Arthurs 4th book in her Shapes of Needlepoint Series.  Series 4 is about Diagonals, Horizontals & Verticals.  I found Sandy’s introduction to this book to be fascinating and explained much of what she is doing with this series.  Very Interesting.  I have customers who buy each volume as they come out.



Ok,  it is 12:11 am on Wednesday morning and I still have to clean up (read shovel out) my garage.  It has been on my list for weeks now and I will not put it off anymore.  Besides, this is the time of days I actually have energy  (like you didn’t already know I am nuts).

I have been reading or rereading Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk, written in 1955.  I read it many years ago, when I was a teenager, it was a book my parents had.  I was fortunate that I was not restricted in any way.  I could read what I wanted to and I am grateful for that.  My father later told me it did not occur to them to censor me (or my brothers).  My whole family was & is readers.

I had a vague memory of the book so I downloaded it and am reading it.  It is and isn’t what I remember.    I had recently read The Best of Everything by Rona Jaffee (1959).   I had only seen the movie (several times) but had never read the book.  The book was so different from the movie, once I got over the surprise of that, it was an amazing book.

Between the two I read The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison.  There is *talk* that this is the first novel by a lady who died right before publication.  That is so sad, after trying for so many years, to finally be published and….. I highly recommend The Silent Wife.  It is currently on the New York Times bestseller lists but read it anyway.  It floored me.   Wonderful book.


Fall promises to be lovely.  I am planning a new garden bed behind my patio.   I nice half moon shape, I think it will be good.  I am cloning some of my amazingly prolific roses to use in the new garden bed.

I am on my 4th heavy bloom, so far this season.